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The day-trip vessel aground on an island between Phuket and Phi Phi

Tourists Rescued as Ferry Begins Sinking

Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Today's UPDATING News Report

PHUKET: More than 100 tourists were rescued when a ferry began sinking and ran aground this afternoon as it headed from Phi Phi island to Phuket.

Taking water, the ferry Pernfung 2 made for Keaw island, between Phi Phi and Phuket, according to Marine Police officers.

Another vessel, Pichanon, making a regular afternoon run from Phuket to Phi Phi, was diverted to Keaw island where it picked up the passengers from the stricken ferry.

''The passengers are now all safely on Phi Phi and will be returned to Phuket this evening,'' a Marine Police officer said.

The owner of the day-tripping ferry, Samphan Iyara, told Phuketwan that 115 passengers were on the vessel.
Photographs show it aground at Keaw island.

''I've never encountered conditions like this before in all my years in business,'' Khun Samphan said. ''Waves of four to five metres were breaking over the front of the vessel.

''The wood gave way and the boat started taking water. It left Phi Phi at 3pm and those kinds of conditions were not expected.''

Six crew will return to Phuket tonight with the 115 tourists.

Khun Samphan said the vessel was valued at 18 million baht. ''We will look at trying to get it back to Phuket somehow tomorrow,'' he said.

Last month, the Royal Thai Navy vessel was called out to rescue more than 400 tourists stranded on an island off Phuket and Phang Nga in a severe storm.

At the weekend, about 100 tourists had to be rescued after another predicted storm struck, stranding them on an island off Krabi.

Tourism industry operators have since been debating the merits of leaving the decision to put to sea on days when bad weather is forecast in the hands of boat ''captains.''

Comments

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It looks as if it started taking on water as a result of going aground. When will these charter firms do 1. hire competent 'captains' who know where they are going and in what weather to set sail in and 2. The other reason it took on water is from lack of maintenance of the stern glands where the prop shaft revolves or the various gland fittings for toilets etc.etc. Hopefully nobody was injured

Posted by mick.s on May 28, 2013 19:00

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@mick.s, it looks to me as if the boat was purposefully run aground after it started sinking in order to aid recovery of the vessel. However the rest of your observations may well hold water.

Posted by chill on May 28, 2013 19:45

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This will be again a trip at half price,that is competing with the companies who take care of the tourists and ask regular price. The price difference is always difficult to explain to customers but here there is some documentation. Would be interesting to know if that company is fully insured.

Posted by Eric on May 28, 2013 20:17

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How much longer before a real loss of life tragedy happens. So far, thank heavens, no drownings in several boat sinkings have occured. A harbour master should dictate and enforce orders to all boat owners when it is not safe to venture out to sea. Pie in the sky?

Posted by Anonymous on May 28, 2013 20:41

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If they have never saw conditions like this why did they put to sea

Posted by Michael on May 28, 2013 20:45

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The issue is that most vessels used around Phuket are not suitable for operating during all weather situations that can occur around Phuket, in this case we have a ferry with a very low freeboard and then lots of windows, that the windows are not smashed by the waves regularly is just pure luck. But here it seems that if a vessel can show that it has life vests on board then it will be approved for as many passengers that can be squeezed in them .... the ferry used here and the speed boats used around would be good for rivers or small lakes with little or no waves but not for the Andaman Sea.

Posted by Sailor on May 29, 2013 04:34

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What are these boats built of ??

Posted by Wonder on May 29, 2013 08:33

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I probably know the answer, but for the sake of curiosity.....
Is their any kind of seaworthiness test/certificate that a boast must have?

Also was the boat overcrowded? I realise that to stay afloat a maximum weight must be adhered to?

Posted by eezergood on May 29, 2013 09:05

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Anybody surprised? It's been reported by PW for a week now about the weather and sea conditions? Captains with greed as motivation, I can see a big catastrophe coming soon, why are the tourists not informed by the charter company's they travel here with?

Posted by Simon on May 29, 2013 17:24


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